CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2015 – Great things are brewing at RE/MAX Ultimate Professionals in Shorewood, Ill., as a new year gets underway, due to a growth spurt that began last summer. That’s when Broker/Owner Kathy Dames realized she’d soon be adding more brokers to her team than the current office could accommodate, and it was also when she learned that the business next door to her office at 576 Brookforest Ave., would be closing.
She used the additional 1,600 square feet to nearly double the size of her Shorewood office, now the base of operations for 15 brokers. She also has a growing second office in Plainfield, Ill., with a staff of 16 brokers.
The Shorewood office addition, which opened last month, features one of the hottest trends in real estate office design – a coffee bar with wireless internet access, a concept known in the industry as an iCafé.
“I learned about it in a seminar at a RE/MAX conference I attended in August, and it seemed like an ideal fit for what we were trying to accomplish,” Dames said. “We want both our brokers and their clients to feel comfortable in our office, and we thought one way to do that would be by offering a more casual alternative as a meeting place. Given the way coffee oriented businesses, such as Starbucks, have become gathering places, I liked the idea of creating our own iCafé as part of the expansion.
Dames has stocked her newly opened iCafé with more than coffee, though it does feature an espresso machine as well as a coffeemaker that can brew coffee by the cup or by the potful. Also on hand are an array of healthy snacks, water, soda, juices and even some craft beers.
About 400 square feet of the space that Dames added to her office is absorbed by the iCafé and lounge area, while another 400 square feet is devoted to an expanded reception area. The remainder of the new space is used for broker’s office areas, including five private offices and five work cubicles.
“The trend in real estate in recent years has been for brokers to spend less time in the brokerage office and more time in a home office or out at properties, but I’d like to change that because I see great value in having our brokers spend time together,” noted Dames. “When we interact and exchange ideas and information, we energize each other, and that leads to better results for our clients and our brokers. I think the iCafé will facilitate that process, while also providing an amenity that our clients will enjoy.”
With more office space at her disposal, Dames continues to recruit experienced brokers.
“Interested brokers can call our office at 815-725-4545 or contact our general manager, Brian Kasprisin directly at 815-693-8336,” she said.
RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of 2,200 sales associates and 100 individually owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its www.illinoisproperty.com provides comprehensive information about the network and about residential and commercial property for sale in the region. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 90,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.